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2 reviews, 29 user ratings

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This Girl's Life
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Erik Childress

"Juliette Marquis – A Star Is Born"
5 stars

SCREENED AT THE 2003 CINEVEGAS FILM FESTIVAL: The term “introducing” isn’t used in film credits as often anymore. Unless brought up to highlight a new child star, the term’s most publicized outing was when Steven Soderbergh jokingly used it in regards to Julia Roberts in Ocean’s Eleven. There are very few performances nowadays that need such extra attention and even fewer that deserve it. Here is a film that makes you wait for it. The whole movie asking yourself “who is this actress” and then forgetting you’re even asking it, finding yourself transfixed by her gazing starpower and magnificent performance. But even though I’m highly recommending this film and urge everyone to seek it out, I won’t make you wait for it. Allow me to introduce Juliette Marquis.

New beauties pop up just about every month in the movies and if nothing strikes your attention, you’ll be made to believe this anonymous pretty face is the next big thing. Anonymous chasms with nary a speck of talent getting the best jobs out there just because we’re inclined to look at them. Of course, they may be lovely people, but how would we ever know when the media shows us only the footage they have of them.?

Juliette Marquis is a new beauty to the screen, but she holds the screen with the grace and confidence of a Golden Era starlet. In her film debut here she plays Moon, one of the most popular porn stars around. She talks to us and reveals her life; one lived in the movies and her own “Truman Show-like” live camera internet show. She prides herself in being charge of her life, especially sexually in the 1% of females who would ditch her fiancé at the hands of an aggressive stranger if the opportunity ever arose.

In the midst of resigning her contract, Moon is about to do some reexamining even if she’s not fully conscience of it. Her father (James Woods), whom she lovingly refers to as “Pops” is suffering through the bad stages of Parkinson’s and she’s ready to take care of him on a moment’s notice. She’s also just been setup on a blind date with Kip (Kip Pardue) who wasn’t privy to her profession at first. As we watch his reaction, we also wonder for ourselves how we would respond to the admission. Would we be excited to actually be dating an adult film star or would we hesitate while projecting the future of having to confront the unmagnanimous nature of the business?

Moon frequently asks us and others not to judge her and what she does. After all, it’s just sex and who’s getting hurt? Her friends (Rosario Dawson & Kam Heskin) engage in debate over the subject since a girl as smart as Moon should be able to do better for herself. But what’s better for her? She’s not forced to do anything she doesn’t want. She gets paid a good deal of money and retains a level of fame that she tends to shy away from. Is that really any different than most actresses?

Writer/director Ash confronts the pornography examination from a subtle angle, tackling the subject head-on but then filtered through the perception of situations that don’t relate to the industry. When Moon is asked by a friend to “test” her fiancé (a la the reality show, Cheaters) she’s reluctant at first but then discovers the advantages of a kind of control she may have never really had with her production company. Fellow adult stars (one played by actual adult star, Cheyenne Silver) also have to confront the possibility of disease and finally being pushed too far over the edge, no matter how much gung-ho self-reliance they put on their profession.

Perception is the key to it all. Moon is as normal as any other woman on the planet; a caring daughter and an overall nice person. Her mother’s death sent her dad into an emotional breakdown and could also have closed her up emotionally. We don’t want to judge her and we empathize with her story even if she doesn’t ask us to. It’s just as easy for us to point a finger at her paranoid friend or Moon’s later marks of role playing. Michael Rapaport delivers a creepy performance that makes us consider the consequences that Moon is only beginning to understand. When a police officer mistakenly labels one character as a “pervert”, we’re hit with a thunderbolt of guilt for anytime we judged a book by its cover.

All of this revolves around Marquis’ performance. She has a look that can intimidate and a sweetness that could wash away all your concerns. She is at the center of nearly every scene in This Girl’s Life and whether she’s talking to the camera or using her face during voiceovers, we are transfixed. Without anyone ever being touched, a scene in a swimming pool is sexier than just about any tight clothed booty shaker on MTV or in the chemistry-lacking romantic comedies of the day. And you have to love her description of her favorite sexual position. No, its not like that. What were you thinking?

It takes a brave soul to match screen time with James Woods in their film debut, especially when he’s getting to live the actor’s dream of tackling a role like this. As a Parkinson’s sufferer, Woods must twitch and contort at every waking moment. It’s the kind of tightrope performance that critics can either jump on (Sean Penn, I Am Sam) or embrace (Dustin Hoffman, Rain Man), especially when a mocking specialist come equipped to equate him walking down the street with Elaine’s little-kicks dance from Seinfeld. I was sold from the minute Woods hit the screen and in a movie about judging, unless we’ve been around someone with Parkinson’s, who the hell are we to say anything anyway?

This Girl’s Life was a standout at the CineVegas performance; the best of the lot. It’s an intelligent, thought-provoking tale of morality that’s also very funny, stressful and strikingly touching. One late revelation is perhaps a bit too much to swallow, but the actors involved sell it. Woods is in great form as usual and if Juliette Marquis is not a star within the next five years, then you can judge me all you want. This Girl’s Life has introduced her. It’s time to start watching her and I don’t feel guilty about saying so.

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originally posted: 06/25/03 07:44:52
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 CineVegas Film Festival. For more in the 2003 CineVegas Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

1/19/08 Ray Juliette has a special quality that combines sexy with an innocent beauty. Great actress! 4 stars
5/14/07 David Pollastrini All the women in this film are hot! 3 stars
10/20/06 Charles Tatum Do we need another "porn stars are people, too" film? 4 stars
10/15/06 jitu khan good 4 stars
8/11/05 Carmen Mallard it's a good movie and i cant stop watching it 5 stars
8/09/05 Diane Real 5 stars
6/16/05 emre it is emotional and impressive 5 stars
6/08/05 carla congratulations to the director, and of course to Juliette 4 stars
6/03/05 The Falcon A masterpiece. Mezmerising debut. 5 stars
2/28/05 jenny juliette marquis-go,go girl! This movie should be on a big screen. 5 stars
2/06/05 Troy Weets Great Movie, but these people need to learn to spell. 5 stars
1/04/05 magaafi taht main girl is hot ey 5 stars
10/28/04 Tim a wonderful, wonderful movie 5 stars
9/21/04 cane verry good james wood was exelent julliett is also very good hope to see her again 4 stars
9/10/04 gloria acevedo i loved this movie! juliette is so sexy and amazing. she reminds me a lot of angelina jolie 5 stars
9/07/04 Mindy Kinghorn I really like this movie. Juliette is so hot! I hope to see her in more movies. JW was good 5 stars
9/01/04 Dennis A little exploitative at first, but it really develops into a great portrait of Moon. 4 stars
8/28/04 scott excellent julliete shines 5 stars
8/27/04 jamie the amterial may not be the best but her ability shines through 5 stars
8/26/04 Ja'nine Love Kip...Juliette is spectacular! 5 stars
8/26/04 Robert Pou Very Sexual, wrong message to send to young women 5 stars
8/24/04 Ray Maupin Powerfull this Lady delivers so does Woods 5 stars
2/12/04 great movie guillermina from argentina 5 stars
9/16/03 Jill Carrigan Sweet, Funny, Sexy, Shocking,Light, Deep- REAL! 5 stars
8/31/03 Jean-Pierre sex and humanity 5 stars
8/31/03 reissa rapkin i had no idea what the movie was about befoe watching it i loved it great acting by all ne 5 stars
7/12/03 DFox ..::xxx::.. 5 stars
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Directed by

Written by

  James Woods
  Rosario Dawson
  Kip Pardue
  Isaiah Washington
  Ioan Gruffudd
  Juliette Marquis
  Tomas Arana

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